fri 24/05/2024

New Music Reviews

Music Reissues Weekly: Blank Generation, Just Want To Be Myself

Kieron Tyler

“I hate it, so I guess Eater have succeeded.” NME’s March 1977 appraisal of the debut single by UK punk's teen sensations was direct. In his trailblazing British punk fanzine Sniffin' Glue, Mark Perry was equally forthright when contemplating “Outside View.” “Sorry lads but this single is crap,” he wrote. “It’s not even good crap, it’s just a waste of time.”

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Album: MGMT - Loss of Life

Kieron Tyler

The dolefulness of the title Loss of Life is reflected by what’s in the grooves. The lyrics of the Todd Rundgren/Queen-esque fifth track “Bubblegum Dog” include the line “None of this seems like fun but maybe that’s the point, man.” Further in, “Nothing Changes” seems to be about wanting to be rescued from an enervating stasis.

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Music Reissues Weekly: Lou Christie - Gypsy Bells

Kieron Tyler

Lou Christie fancied offering some social comment. The lyrics of his May 1967 single “Self Expression (The Kids on the Street Will Never Give in)” tackled inter-generational conflict: “Papa I don't see things your way, Like choosin' my own religion, Like where I hang out's my decision, Self-expression all the way.”

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Tom Webber, The Hope and Anchor review - a fresh nod to the past

mark Kidel

Thursday night at Islington’s legendary Hope and Anchor:  a challenging time and place to get an audience going, not least following the very assured edgy-yet-sweet singer-songwriter Daisy Veacock, another newish-kid-on-the-block on the edge of the recognition so many young artists yearn for.

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Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind, Tate Modern review - a fitting celebration of the early years

Sarah Kent

At last Yoko Ono is being acknowledged in Britain as a major avant garde artist in her own right. It has been a long wait; last year was her 90th birthday! The problem, of course, was her relationship with John Lennon and perceptions of her as the Japanese weirdo who broke up the Beatles and led Lennon astray – down a crooked path to oddball, hippy happenings.

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Music Reissues Weekly: Scott Fagan - South Atlantic Blues

Kieron Tyler

The album opens with “In my Head.” The lead instrument is an electric piano, over which a quavering, clenched voice sings. The closest comparison is Pearls Before Swine’s Tom Rapp, a similarly idiosyncratic singer. As the stately song unfolds, stabbing strings complement interjections from a soul-styled brass section.

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Northern Winter Beat 2024 review - Julie Byrne, Alabaster DePlume, Deerhoof and Mary Ocher triumph in Denmark

Kieron Tyler

You’re here. I’m so happy you’re here. You’re alive. You’re doing so well. Living is so hard. We’re alive. Have you suffered? When we’re alive, we suffer. We suffer to be alive. You must have suffered.

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Music Reissues Weekly: The Tornados - Love And Fury: The Holloway Road Sessions

Kieron Tyler

In summer 2022, one of the year’s most significant archive releases was issued. The Telstar Story was an eight track 10-inch EP focusing on the aural side of how The Tornados’ 1962 instrumental hit “Telstar” was created by independent producer Joe Meek. There were demos, working material from the recording sessions and much more.

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John Francis Flynn, The Dome review - new trad and taped tin whistles

India Lewis

The Dome, as the opening act, Clara Mann noted, is a normally a heavy metal venue (black or dark purple tour bus parked outside, a long queue of piercings and mohawks). It was a lovely confounding of expectations, therefore, to stage Mann’s own plaintive “sad sad” guitar songs (her description) and John Francis Flynn’s inventive and reinterpreted trad folk here. 

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Tony Kofi Quartet, 606 Club review - from good to great

Ed Vulliamy

Twenty years ago, the British-Ghanaian saxophonist Tony Kofi recorded the results of a venture as ambitious as it was potentially audacious: an album of transpositions for sax of music by the master of improvisational quirk and idiosyncratic technique on piano: Theolonius Monk.

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